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Metal - Released June 18, 2021 | Nuclear Blast

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Metal - Released October 25, 2010 | Noise Records

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Metal - Released October 4, 2019 | Nuclear Blast

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Metal - Released August 8, 2013 | Noise Records

Having established an immensely influential blueprint with Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 1, Helloween released the obviously titled follow-up, Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 2, a year later. But it seemed that Helloween's heretofore leader, guitarist Kai Hansen, had lost interest in his own band, and the result was a terribly inconsistent album. Except for the excellent "I Want Out," his few song contributions reek of indifference, leaving vocalist Michael Kiske and second guitarist Michael Weikath to try and pick up the slack -- with mixed results. Weikath gets it right on the catchy and humorous "Dr. Stein," but his attempt to replicate Hansen's epic songwriting on the 13-plus-minute title track collapses from early promise into a complete mess of embarrassing proportions. Still, the album sold well, delaying the problems looming on the horizon. Hansen would confirm his apathy by quitting soon after to form Gamma Ray, and though Helloween continue to record, they have never recovered from his departure. © Eduardo Rivadavia /TiVo
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Metal - Released June 29, 2020 | Nuclear Blast

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Metal - Released July 7, 2008 | Noise Records

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Metal - Released August 8, 2013 | Noise Records

Helloween followed up their very popular self-titled mini-LP with 1986's even more accomplished Walls of Jericho, a disc that saw the quartet from Hamburg, Germany, outperforming expectations and quickly defining their sonic identity. The instrumental title track soon gives way to amazingly mature and complex compositions like "Ride the Sky," "Phantoms of Death," and the awesome "How Many Tears" (even more ambitious 13-minute epics would soon follow). And although these were heavily reliant on Iron Maiden for inspiration, it was Helloween's speed metal innovations that clearly helped make the songs so special and influential for future bands. Even the album's lyrically challenged, somewhat one-dimensional moments ("Warrior," "Metal Invaders") usually succeed, thanks to the group's uncontainable energy. On the downside, the album continued to expose Kai Hansen's limitations as a singer, but the band would soon remedy this disadvantage by bringing on teenage phenom Michael Kiske as lead vocalist. [The CD reissue of Walls of Jericho offers a complete recap of Helloween's first incarnation by combining it with their eponymous mini-LP and the Judas EP in chronological order.] © Eduardo Rivadavia /TiVo
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Metal - Released August 1, 2013 | Sanctuary Records

During Helloween's up-and-down recording career, fans learned to expect the unexpected. The band's songwriting and musical/thematic commitment could not always be relied upon, and the depths to which Helloween could sink were never more obvious than during the mid-'90s. During this period, the band most notoriously dumped two absolute clunkers (the ludicrously titled Pink Bubbles Go Ape and the mellowed-out Chameleon) on a large and unsuspecting metal fan base. The combined failure of these two records prompted the departure of longtime vocalist Michael Kiske and a strategic retreat by the remaining members of the group. While 1996's The Time of the Oath is generally considered the real Helloween comeback record, Master of the Rings (released a year previously) marked the actual return to metal form. "Perfect Gentleman" (the best of four singles taken from Master of the Rings) is a melodic metal highlight, as are "Where the Rain Grows" and "The Game Is On." New vocalist Andi Deris displays all the personality and skill needed to replace a near legend, and the other bandmembers grind out their riffs with efficiency. Not quite as polished or confident as The Time of the Oath, Master of the Rings still has its own appeal, and should satisfy power metal fans looking to round out their Helloween collections. [Master of the RIngs was reissued in 2006 in an expanded edition that included bonus tracks.] © Vincent Jeffries /TiVo
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Metal - Released June 29, 2020 | Nuclear Blast

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Metal - Released May 29, 2015 | Nuclear Blast

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Metal - Released June 29, 2020 | Nuclear Blast

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Metal - Released September 8, 1999 | Castle Communications

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Metal - Released September 9, 2016 | Nuclear Blast

Booklet
In the world of heavy metal, 1988 may be best remembered as the year that prog metal was born, thanks to such popular and enduring releases as Metallica's ...And Justice for All, Queensrÿche's Operation: Mindcrime, and Iron Maiden's Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. But predating all of these aforementioned titles by a year was Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 1 by Germany's Helloween. Influenced equally by Maiden and Judas Priest, the group specialized in both anthemic metal (with operatic vocals) and tricky musical bits -- as evidenced by the epic track "Halloween," which received quite a few spins on Headbangers Ball as an edited version. Although the group issued a second installment of Keeper of the Seven Keys a year later, they were not able to keep pace with the other prog metallists -- despite carving out a lengthy career for themselves (with countless lineup switches). Come 2005, the group -- whose only recognizable bandmember is guitarist Michael Weikath -- returned to what put them on the map in the first place, issuing Keeper of the Seven Keys: The Legacy. A sprawling double-disc set, all the musical elements from the earlier Keeper releases are back in place, as evidenced by a pair of lengthy tracks, "The King for a 1,000 Years" and "Occasion Avenue," as well as the leadoff single, "Mrs. God." While it probably won't help touch off another "prog metal movement" like Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 1 did, longtime Helloween fans won't be let down with the latest Keeper installment. © Greg Prato /TiVo
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Metal - Released April 2, 2021 | Nuclear Blast

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Metal - Released September 5, 2008 | Nuclear Blast

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Metal - Released December 6, 2013 | Nuclear Blast

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Metal - Released January 1, 1991 | Noise Records

The Best, the Rest, the Rare has a little bit of something for everybody. For the casual listener, there are hits and album tracks that provide the bare-bones introduction to Helloween. For the longtime fan, there's a handful of rare cuts that make the compilation worth hearing. For both the casual and the hardcore fan, the disc provides an excellent overview of Helloween's peak years. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Metal - Released September 13, 2016 | Noise Records

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Metal - Released January 1, 1989 | Noise Records

Helloween followed up their very popular self-titled mini-LP with 1986's even more accomplished Walls of Jericho, a disc that saw the quartet from Hamburg, Germany, outperforming expectations and quickly defining their sonic identity. The instrumental title track soon gives way to amazingly mature and complex compositions like "Ride the Sky," "Phantoms of Death," and the awesome "How Many Tears" (even more ambitious 13-minute epics would soon follow). And although these were heavily reliant on Iron Maiden for inspiration, it was Helloween's speed metal innovations that clearly helped make the songs so special and influential for future bands. Even the album's lyrically challenged, somewhat one-dimensional moments ("Warrior," "Metal Invaders") usually succeed, thanks to the group's uncontainable energy. On the downside, the album continued to expose Kai Hansen's limitations as a singer, but the band would soon remedy this disadvantage by bringing on teenage phenom Michael Kiske as lead vocalist. [The CD reissue of Walls of Jericho offers a complete recap of Helloween's first incarnation by combining it with their eponymous mini-LP and the Judas EP in chronological order.] © Eduardo Rivadavia /TiVo
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Metal - Released April 9, 2002 | Noise Records

Crafting fast-paced power metal since their inception in the early '80s, Helloween has followed a very curious and unique path throughout their career. Releasing heady concept albums (the Keeper of the Seven Keys series) and complicated metal anthems while keeping their tongue firmly in cheek, the band managed to stay relevant in a stagnant genre by not being afraid to be different. This two-CD set showcases their career by mixing the tracks together from every point of their existence. This works because the sheer variety is complementary to their accomplishments, even if that variety is questionable when compared to less narrow genres. Still, they were always very catchy and memorable, and every important Helloween song imaginable to a casual fan makes an appearance here. Most importantly, the full 14-minute version of "Halloween" is included, and that song more than any other is a cult classic that has gained notoriety through MTV's insistence on playing the track on October 31st for years after the single's release. Their American debut, Walls of Jericho, is well represented through several excellent tracks, and their aforementioned Seven Keys albums also contribute a large amount of material. Those unfamiliar with the band may find it unusual that they obsess over weird things like proper names ("Dr. Stein," "Mr. Torture," "Mr. Ego") and have albums with titles like Pink Bubbles Go Ape. But that's the charm of Helloween: they don't have the overblown pomposity of Iron Maiden or oddball gimmicks like Running Wild, they just make solid power metal. This isn't for everybody, but one listen to "I Want Out" should remind fans old and new exactly why Helloween is good: they rocked. © Bradley Torreano /TiVo